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First Drive

First Drive: Mitsubishi Shogun Sport

Mitsubishi Shogun Sport 2.4D 4
The story: Mitsubishi has added the big Shogun Sport to its range, partially to cover production ending on the Shogun, to ensure the continued presence of a large off-roader in its line-up.
Category:Large 4x4
Key rival:Toyota Land Cruiser
On sale:Now

Mitsubishi is under no illusions about the strengths of its new Shogun Sport model, and that it abilities off-road and in workhorse conditions are crucial to it success.

The car has been on sale in Australia since 2015, and Mitsubishi UK has chosen now as the time to bring it to the UK as the big Shogun 4×4 has finally finished production, leaving a gap at the top of the brand’s 4×4 line-up.

Mitsubishi Shogun Sport - Gallery Image 10The Shogun Sport is a seven-seater powered by a 2.4-litre diesel engine mated to a new eight-speed automatic gearbox, a combination that will scare off anyone paying company car benefit-in-kind tax thanks to the 227g/km emissions figure, combined with a £37,650 price tag for the higher of the two trims driven here, called 4. The lower trim, named 3, is £2000 less, but misses out on adaptive cruise control, blind spot warning, forward collision mitigation and the 360-degree camera system, though it does get reversing camera, LED headlamps, keyless entry and a range of off-road terrain control settings, plus hill decent control and a rear diff lock.

It is really very impressive off road, with Mitsubishi’s claim that none of the broad range of rivals, which includes the Land Rover Discovery Sport, Toyota Land Cruiser, Kia Sorento and Ssangyong Rexton, would be able to match the car’s ability in the wilderness.

Which is for the best, because on-road the Shogun Sport is a tricky sell, even before you look at the near-£40k price tag. The ride quality is the biggest issue, where the vehicle lollops, crashes and bangs around like an unloaded pick-up, It just never really feel settled, which isn’t helped by the light and vague steering that has airs of oil tanker captain about it. The drivetrain isn’t bad at all, if not the quietest, but it’s the bouncy ride that is the biggest issue, and something all rivals do better.

The look can also be awkward from some angles, especially the high rear end that admittedly helps the vehicle’s off-road ability and clearance, and it makes the car look tall and narrow.

Mitsubishi Shogun Sport - Gallery Image 1The interior is pleasant enough, though some of the harder plastics aren’t necessarily befitting of a £40,000 car, and the seats are comfortable. The third row has limited headroom but reasonable legroom, though it’s far from the neatest solution when the seats are folded to maximise load space.

Paul Barker

The verdict

The ride quality is way off the class best, but it’s dependable, durable and very capable off-road, though not exactly a budget choice.